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Friday, March 23, 2012

"I Wear a Hoodie, too!"

In memory of Trayvon Martin
That was one of my first thoughts when someone mentioned that Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie the night he was murdered*, and it was implied that the hoodie may have played a part in his death.

My very white 20 y/o son also wears a hoodie, a dark navy one, just like many of the kids here in Los Angeles, both in the suburbs and urban areas.  Some of these kids are looking for trouble, but most are not.  They're just wearing what everyone else wears.  Hoodies are warm and comfy and just right for our climate -- and for Florida's climate.

One of my 50-something grandmother friends wears a hoodie.  From the back, with our hoodies up, no one would know our race or age, just that we're both on the short side and could stand to lose few pounds, like many of the women and girls in this area.

Should any of us have to fear for our lives walking through a neighborhood at night wearing an article of clothing that millions wear, simply because some trouble-makers also wear it?  Of course not.  This issue is much deeper than hoodies.

The first person I heard commenting on the hoodie issue was a black man.  From what I was able to gather, he thought young black people shouldn't wear hoodies because it was somehow lowering themselves, or it was a symbol of something, I'm not sure what, but it wasn't good.  I pretty much ignored him, but the comment stuck in my brain.

Since then, I've heard hoodie mentioned several times in the past few days in relation to this tragedy, and I'm trying to wrap my head around it.  Somehow, the hoodie has become a symbol of what happened that night.

All that said, I'm praying for Trayvon's family, his former school, even Mr. Zimmerman, the man who killed him.  Sin and prejudice have far reaching ramifications, and many, many people have been hurt by this.

*and yes, I believe Trayvon was murdered, but that's a topic for another day and time

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I had not noticed until this spring the delicacy of some azaleas.  Many of them are bold and bright ...

A friend commented on how the ones at our house seem to glow in the shaded front yard.

And I love the bright pink color.  But I was also enchanted by this much smaller plant (it's to the left of the bright pink azalea) and its delicate flowers.

And just for fun, while I was practicing these close ups with the flowers, I took one of this cute little guy.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Heady and Intoxicating

Grapefruit and blossoms

That's how I've been describing my back yard this past week or so.  At first, I thought it was lemon blossom, which of course is delightful.  But the scent originated too close to the house; the lemons are farther back.

Instead, it's the grapefruit tree.  The scent is stronger than lemon, and is permeating the entire yard and wafting to the front, too. 

The tree is huge, too.  It produces lots of yellow grapefruit each year -- many, many more than we can use or give away. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


It was lemonade weather on Sunday.  Really, really hot. 

And the Meyer lemons are finally ready to be picked. 

They've been teasing us for at least a month, becoming a darker and darker yellow ... but the tree has not "released" them in great numbers, until Sunday.

For comparison, here are some Meyers and conventional lemons.

Along with being smaller and more orange in color, Meyers are more fragile.  Their skin is thin, and they will start spoiling in three or four days after being picked.  This is why you don't see them in stores very much, although I think commercial growers put something on the skin to help preserve them.

For the home grower, don't wash your lemons until you are ready to use them.  There is a naturally occurring coating on the skins that helps preserve the lemons.

Oh, about that lemonade ... it was wonderful.